Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Did Gig Young ever get the girl?

Last night, I watched the most dreadful musical melodrama, Young at Heart, which came out in 1954. It focused on the Tuttle family, a musical family living in middle-class splendor in Connecticut -- widowed father, loving caretaker aunt, and three beautiful blonde daughters, the youngest played by Doris Day. Into their lives comes the talented and charming composer, played by Gig Young. What made the movie so terrible was the way in which the writer's telegraphed Young's charm -- he was overbearing, manipulative, and nosy. And he was the good guy. Is this what a generation of young women grew up believing charm to be? It got worse when his brilliantly talented companion, Frank Sinatra, came on the scene. Sinatra's talent was made manifest by his being utterly charmless, selfish, morbid, depressive and suicidal. Naturally, the lovely, glowing, kind Doris Day, who had become engaged to Gig Young, falls for him -- a rescue complex, you know. And what makes it worse is that, by movie's end, the implication is that she had rescued him and made his talent manifest to all. This was even worse than the Gig Young part. By now, I'd figured out where a generation of young women came from, believing strongly that they could take some angry malcontent and, through love alone, turn him into something resembling a human being. Just dreadful. But back to my post title. It occurred to me, watching this movie, that I've seen a handful of movies with Gig Young and he never, never gets the girl. He always starts with the girl, and ends up graciously leaving with a handful of nothing. If any of you know otherwise, let me know.